Our regular readers will know the importance we place on gut health. Given that you will all be focused on healthy habits as we start a new year we thought it was time to revisit gut symptoms.
The gut is complex and sensitive. An increasingly common complaint is leaky gut.
What is leaky gut?
Your gut lining is a protective layer that filters food allowing only smaller particles to be absorbed. Like any protective layer the gut lining can be damaged. Once damage has occurred then larger particles can get through. This is leaky gut in action.
Examples of these larger particles include:
- The wrong bacteria
- Toxic products
- Undigested food
If these particles have free passage through your gut ultimately, your gut will become inflamed.
Symptoms of inflammation include:
- Joint pain
- Digestive problems
- Food allergies, intolerance and sensitivities
- Skin issues
- Thyroid conditions
- Weight gain
If these symptoms are familiar to you we encourage you to take action. A key warning sign is becoming sensitive to several different food groups. If you don’t address this you may suffer further health issues relating to your immune system.
Immune diseases could include
- Chronic fatigue
Why do I have leaky gut?
There are a variety of reasons why we get leaky gut. We talk about all of these factors regularly but make no apology for repeating our message again. Are you experiencing:
- Ongoing stress
- We have discussed stress many times. You will be aware that we recommend
- a healthy diet
- supplements to fix any shortfalls
- good sleep
- relaxation – deep breathing is excellent for both mental and digestive relaxation. It enhances the hormones that support digestive actions
- time out for fun
- exercise – remember how babies have their legs cycled to help them pass a bowel movement. This doesn’t change as we grow up we need exercise and movement to encourage healthy bowel activity
- An unhealthy diet
- The rules for a healthy diet
- Eat organic
- Lots of vegetables and some fruit
- Plenty of water
- Limit diary produce – be aware that milk reacts in a similar way to gluten and can be hard to digest.
- Limit red meat
- Sugar should be an occasional treat
- Plenty of fibre
- Bacterial problems
- We are regularly exposed to
- Germs and viruses
- Antibiotics / Medications – notice if your medicines have an impact on your gut reactions, many do cause challenges for us
- Tap water
- Gut toxicity
- Our worlds are full of chemicals on a daily basis we absorb them through our skin, inhale pollutants and even eat some!
- Check if you have a yeast overgrowth
To complicate things even further be aware that with leaky gut you may not absorb necessary nutrients that support your immune system. These nutrients include B12, iron and zinc.
Healing a leaky gut
Healing your gut takes time. We have highlighted some key actions that we recommend to you. Bear in mind if gluten is your problem it takes up to nine months to remove from your system. See our blogs on giving up sugar and gluten for my experiences of dietary changes.
Where do you start?
- Identify the foods that irritate you and eliminate for one month
- After a month are you better?
- If you are better you may decide to continue eliminating or you may decide to reintroduce into your diet.
- Look at your lifestyle are there things you can change?
- Is there a source of stress you can change
- Your job
- Lack of exercise
- Can you make better food choices?
- Healing foods include
- Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut
- Bone or vegetable broths
- The Gluten Free Society recommends regular intermittent fasting and liquid diets. Liquids such as bone broths are very gentle for a damaged gut.
- Healthy fats – avocado, coconut
- Further support for your body comes from
- Probiotics – re-balance your guy flora by using effective supplements
- Fish Oil has amazing inflammatory properties and many other benefits besides
- Digestive Enzymes are really supportive to a fragile system
- Aloe Vera Juice provides soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits use before each meal
- L-Glutamine – another useful supplement for repairing gut damage
- Ginger – either add it to your food or rub on your tummy in a carrier oil
- Peppermint – drink tea or take a supplement peppermint eases digestive upsets
We hope that this blog encourages you to assess how your gut is feeling and take any appropriate actions so you feel healthier and happier.
We always appreciate your comments and feedback. Let us know if there are subjects you want information on!